Kerri Bradford Color Challenge

Wow, so its been almost 7 months since I have put up a post! I haven't stepped away from crafting just blogging. It was a part of my life that was becoming stressful and making the things that should be enjoyable (like playing with my family) not so much fun so I decided to put it aside for a bit. I think I've made the decision that I will blog when I can/want to and make it a less focused task for me.

That being said LET'S HAVE SOME FUN. It's cyber Monday and we all know what that means.... online shopping. I have been waiting for a sale a Kerri Bradford Studios so that I could purchase her Silhouette classes. I feel like I have a good handle on the software but I recently upgraded to the designer edition and I'm always willing to learn more. Today was my day, she has a sale for 20% off all her classes and 30% off all her designs. If you have time you may want to RUN over and check out the sale and she has a HUGE giveaway with Lisa Bearnson on her blog too! Check it out here!<<<<<<<
While I was poking around over on Kerri's Blog I also noticed she had a challenge posted and I'm always up for a $25 gift card for cut files or classes :)  So the challenge is to use these colors and a Kerri Bradford Studio cut file (She has tons of free ones on her site)


Color: Brown-Grey-Yellow (Image Source: Kerri Bradford Studios)

For me the biggest challenge was getting the project done in less than 6 hours while my husband was gone to a meeting and my boys (5 years and 3 years old) were running around. Here is what I came up with.


Fusion Challenge #4

I'm back with my mojo in hand today. Its been a long week for me. I  had a bit of an accident last weekend that is going to require some plastic surgery for me and I've been out of commission. No sitting for this gal since the burns are on my bum ;( But enough about me.

Here is what inspired my mojo today... the newest Fusion Card Challenge. I have wanted to play along again since the first week. The girls who put this challenge together are so sweet and fun! Here is the picture and sketch they gave us for inspiration.

I liked the flowers but particularly liked the sketch this week so I combined them. Here is what I came up with.

Every day Life

I dug into my stash for everything on this card. All of the paper is from my scrap bin and the ribbon is from my ginormous pile also. I'm in love with those cute little stars from Studio Calico which I colored with some Maya Road mist. That fabulous stamp set is by Technique Tuesday.

I hope you all enjoyed today's post. Lets hope I can keep this mojo thing going ;)


Merry Monday Challenge #56

Hold on to your hats...TWO posts in one day! I'm feeling very inspired today and I'm having fun in my crafty cave after a day spent cleaning the house yesterday I have no worries today. So play away I will :)

 Lesley's Merry Monday challenge over at Always Playing with Paper was my inspiration this afternoon. Lesley is super talented and so is her guest designer this week. I have found so much inspiration from Lesley and Amy who I just recently became friends with through my guest spot over at Sweet Stamp Shop earlier this year.

Here is the inspiration sketch provided for the challenge:

 And this is what I came up with:

Merry Monday Challenge #56
The bonus on this card for me was that I was able to shop from my stash! I have stack of Christmas paper a mile high! I do love my patterned papers. Now doesn't this just get you in the mood to start making your Christmas cards?

Fusion Card Challenge #1

Happy Saturday everyone! I'm back today with a card for the NEW Fusion Challenge blog. I'm excited about this new challenge because you have three options to create with and its voted on by your fellow crafty peers. Here is this weeks hypothesis.

Aren't they both fun! I will be back later with more for this challenge but for today I choose to play along with Lesley's challenge. This is what came out of my 'lab':

Fusion Card Challenge #1

 I used Theresa Collins every day moments 6x6 pad along with Stampin' Up and an Amuse stamp for this fun card. I couldn't resist using the stripes when I saw them below the cake platter in the hypothesis. I really love how this card turned out :)

Make sure you go check out this fun new experiment over at www.fusioncardchallenge.blogspot.com.


Kindness Is...

Today I had a little time to play so I decided to play along with Little Tangles challenge. Make sure you go check out all the creativity over there! The only requirement is that it not be an A2 sized card. I had fun playing with the new We R Memory Keepers paper I picked up at the LSS. I love it when I can use my new stuff right away (I don't feel so guilty for buying more stuff then). Here's what I came up with...

Kindness Is

I used two of my favorite techniques on this card. Masking and fussy cutting. Using my spellbinders I cut out a shape with typing paper and used my momento ink and a sponge applicator I applied my ink then I removed my mask and stamped my butterflies. I then stamped my butterflies again and fussy cut the yellow butterfly. This card measures 5.5x5.5.

I'll be back with some scrapbook pages tomorrow so make sure you check back.


DIY Light Studio

Hi all! I'm back today after almost 2 weeks of not having home internet with a project I have been dieing to share with you. Do you ever feel like there is one thing that is holding you back in your crafting?

 Mine is that I don't ever feel like the photos of my projects do them justice. Because of this I have spent countless hours doing research on product and jewelry photography and asking some of my scrappy friends/crushes their secrets. Take a peek at one of my biggest photo quality crushes Lea Lawson over at Lea's Cupcakes & Sunshine. Not only are her cards amazing but the photos of them are too!

My first step was investing in a new lens for my camera. Previously I took all my photos with an 18-55mm lens on my Nikon D70. My new lens is a 40mm micro lens by Nikon. The second step I took was improving my lighting situation. Almost every blog/website I visited on this topic said LIGHTING was the key to solving all of my problems.

This solution involved a trip to the hardware and office supply store for some cheap lights, pvc piping and foam core board. Because I'm a tightwad I wanted to do this on my own and on a budget. So for about $55 this is what I came up with.

I used the pvc ($1.99 for a 10 ft section) to make a frame to clip my cheap lights (about $6 each) onto and put Ott-lite brand daylight bulbs (about $6 each) into my cheap lights. My box is made out of foam core board with squares cut out of the sides and top to let the light through and the entire box is covered in muslin fabric to diffuse the light. 

Here is my old set up on my sun porch

In my old set up I would always have to to take my pictures at a certain time of day so my lighting would be just right and I was still never happy with them. The details of the cards were always lost. Gems looked like studs and the colors weren't quite the same. In my new light studio I can take pictures any time of day. If you noticed my new set up is also in my basement (no windows). I was a little leary about this at first but I couldn't be happier with the difference in my pictures.

Here are some photos of a card taken in the old set up and then one in the new light studio.

Old sun porch set up
New light studio
Do you see the detail and color difference? I think I'm most amazed at the color. Now I know I have a lot of practice to do on my photos but at least now I know I'm moving in the right direction.
Here is one more picture to show you the diffence in the details. Look at the gems on this card.

Kindness mini
One other tip that I have not taken advantage of yet because I can't find my equipment is to use a tripod.

I hope this helps some of you that struggle with some of the same issues that I do. I'd love your feed back and tips if you have any to share with everyone. Thanks for looking today!


Happy St. Patty's Day

May the luck of the Irish be with you all this weekend whether you celebrate or not. I am both Irish and German. I often tell my husband he got the best of both world because the Irish are fun spirited and the German are stubborn. Which really just makes me hard headed some times, lol.

Here is a fun card I created in the spirit of the season :) With a little piece of trivia attached. The shamrocks four leaves stand for something. The first leaf is for The Father, the second The Son, the third the Holy Spirit and if a fourth is found it stands for God's Grace.

For this fun card I tried to stay on the CAS side. For those of you who know me this is really hard. I cut my clovers on my CAMEO, ran my white background through a cuttle bug folder and glittered up my clovers with my all time favorite Elizabeth Craft glitters. My wood veneer is from the $1.99 section at Archiver's and I added a gem because I couldn't make a card without some bling on it.

So to wrap this up, I hope you all have a fabulous and blessed weekend and be safe how ever you choose to celebrate.


Changing things up a bit

Yep. I decided it was time for a change up, I think maybe its the cabin fever setting in. I don't know about you but I am SO ready for spring and all of this cold weather and snow to go away.

I did a ton of research before this change up to decide what it is that I really wanted my blog to look like when I was all finished. I found that I am attracted to the less is more look. If any of you know me this is super surprising because as much as I really like the CAS look, I'm not very good at it. I just don't know when to stop sometimes....I love color, I love patterns, I love elements and bling. But I took some advise from a blog crush of mine (Emily Branch), some times less is more. LET YOUR ART SHINE.

Now I stumbled on Emily's blog, Emily Branch Designs, just recently and she has a new some FABULOUS advise and a great Top 10 series that I highly recommend that you read whether you are new to blogging or not.

In my research I also found that I didn't want to spend a ton of money because I'm a cheapskate and this is a hobby for me. I'd rather spend my money on product to play with. I'm pretty savvy when it comes down to it I found out. I spent $0/zip/zilch/nothing/nada on this remodel. With a little help from google and my super nice friend Allie Gower over at Larkspurs on Saturday. I was able to figure it all out. Now it did however take me some time, about 12 hours total. I used Photoshop to create all of my graphics.

Here are some of the resources I used when I made my new clickable header:
Vero's View: clickable header tutorial
Image Maps: www.image-maps.com
I had to remove the header that blogger has in the templates which requires editing the html. It really not that scary. I plan to learn more.
Here is the tutorial I found on google that worked for this:

I hope you can all use some of this info and you take the time to visit Emily and Allie's blog they are both great artist!



3 Girl Jammin' it again

Happy Wednesday everyone! I hope that you are all having a great week. I think the full moon is affecting mine, lol. I'm back with some more 3 Girl JAM today. I've loved joining them on Wednesday's this month.

Here is what I came up with for today's card:
3 Girl JAM ribbon

With just a straight stitch down the center of my ribbons I created those fun ruffles and a glubber (LG glue dot from Cosmo Cricket) I made that fun flower. I love how the colors on the flower from the dyeing process fell perfectly into place. This card took about 15 minutes from beginning to end. Including gathering my supplies.

I'm really starting to itch for spring and this card feels so warm to me. Like my stamp its from Sweet Stamp Shop and its the sweet owners hand writing. I wish my hand writing was that pretty.

Alright one last piece of inspiration that was a GREAT reminder for me this week.


Sweet Stamp Shop Guest Design

Woot! Woot! It's my Sweet Stamp Shop day :) Welcome everyone and thanks for joining me! I hope that you all can find a little inspiration here today. I went to a conference for my chiropractic office this weekend and the message was Inspiration: Be inspired. Be inspiring! Let me tell you how true that message rang through to my 'other than work life'.

This industry is all about inspiration, whether we are hoping to gain it or sharing it. So today it is my turn to try to inspire and let me tell you I feel like I'm on fire after working with such an awesome group of women over at the Sweet Stamp Shop. All of the ladies who work with this company are so kind, inspirational, amazing and SWEET. I have felt the love :) Not only have all of their comments and support warmed my heart they also helped me so much with the photography of my art, something I have always struggled with. I will do a tutorial on what I have learned from them in the near future.

Alright sorry I'm getting a bit long winded I'll get on to the inspiration part :) Today is part new and part old. (LOL. The girl scouts song 'Make new friends and keep the old' just popped into my head.)

So here is the new, all made with Warm Thoughts from the February release: If you want to see all the details of these cards click on them and they will appear larger.

Vintage warm thoughts
Drink it up

Warm thoughts of u.
 And here is some of the old. This is where you can see the HUGE difference in my photography.

Sweet Tooth

Happy Super Hero Bday (that cute raccoon is on an action wobble)--Furry Friends Forever   

Movie Night (This is a retired set)

Furry Friends Forever

Happy Easter (Sweet Spring)
I hope you all have an amazing day! Thanks for joining me :) Make sure you hop over to the Sweet Stamp Shop Blog also and see the inspiration from the rest of the girls this month.


Sweet Stamp Shop Release Day 2

Hi all! If your joining me from the Sweet Stamp Shop blog welcome! I'm so excited to be joining the sweetest company and team for the February release. What an honor to have everyone here with lil' ole me! Aren't all the guest designers cards AMAZING! I can't even tell you how nice it has been to play along with all of these talented ladies! Its the second day of the Sweet Stamp Shop release so lets recap. Yesterday was the sneak peak of: Baby Love, Color Wheel, Distressed Chevron and Nesting. If you missed these make sure you hop over {HERE} you don't want to miss it I promise. Plus if you leave some love for these girls there is some loot up for grabs, I know how much it makes us smile when you leave us comments :)

Today I'm excited to feature the Warm Thoughts set for Sweet Stamp Shop and if you came from their blog you got to see this card already but I've got a few more to show you too. I just love the versatility of this set it also helps that I might have a bit of an obsession with burlap too.

Now here are a few more of the creations I came up with from this set. Warning, I've been on a bit of a Valentine's Day card kick. Tis' the season.

Be Mine

Warm Thoughts of you

Valentine's Thoughts

I hope you found some inspiration here today. Tomorrow is the full reveal of ALL 8 Sweet Stamp Shop sets you will be able to stock up in the shop and they except PAYPAL now too. How much sweeter could that be for Valentine's Day? I have been a HUGE fan of Sweet Stamp Shop since the day I found them, their stamps are great quality and their customer service is out of this world.

3 Girl JAM Love

Welcome everyone! I'm back again today with 3 Girl JAM and since Valentine's Day is right around the corner I thought I'd make up something fun for my cutie pie son to give to his teacher. Teacher appreciation is big in our house since my husband is a middle school principal.

Now I'm not big on sugary sweets so here is my alternative.
Valentine's Pencil Tube

I used an SRM treat tube for this fun little gift. No the tube was lots taller than the pencil so I just used my scissors to cut it down to the appropriate size. I embellished my tag with a cut from the Silhouette store, Neat and Tangled Stamps and of course 3 Girl JAM ribbon.

Here are a few close ups so you can see all of that fabulous detail.
Valentine's Pencil Tube Close Up #1
Valentine's Pencil Tube Close Up #2
Make sure that you take a look at my Sweet Stamp Shop post today also. There is tons of inspirations from some really talented women over there today!

This project is also going to be linked up with the Neat & Tangled Challenge #6


Neat and Tangled = Fun

Hi all! I'm off to my mom's house for a WHOLE day away of crafting. What a treat for me, I'm a bit excited if you can't tell. Before I run off for all the crafting, girl talk, food and beverages I wanted to share a card I made with some stamps that are new to me.

Neat and Tangled Kindness Matters

I used Neat and Tangled Stamps. I just LOVE this Kindness Matters set. It speaks volumes and I think more people should be kind! Run over and check out the rest of their stamps. They also have a challenge blog you can play along with. I think this weeks theme is 'love'.

Alright have a great day everyone! I'll pick my gifties from yesterday's post with rafflecopter while I'm out playing. I'm off to craft with the gals :)


Complete Failure...

So as you can see my *plan* to post everyday this week was this a complete fail with a capital F! I wish I had a whole slew of excuses for you but the only one I have was I was just waaaaaay too exhausted to be creative this week. Alas I am FINALLY starting to feel like the healthy ole' me again.

As some of you may have read earlier this week today is my birthday, yay! What comes with birthdays? Why, presents of course. Well and cake too I guess but its a lot harder to mail cake. So I have presents to share. No project to share today just presents :)

So you want a chance to win.... Here's all you have to do.

1. Leave me a comment here. (because i LOVE comments, they make my day really!)
2. Head over to Squirly Girl Creations FB page and say hi there too. Make sure you like my page while you are there. 
3. Want an extra chance to win?? Send your friends over to Squirly Girl's FB page with a link on your FB page (tell me that you've done it over on FB too). If your friends come over to say hi and say you sent them I'll add you in for 2 extra entries.

I have more than one present to share so don't be shy. Now I suppose you all want to know what the presents are, I bet you even wish I had a picture like a responsible blogger would. Well again we go back to the title of this post ^^^^.  But I got this! So let's roll :)

So first up for grabs is not one but TWO of these:
Sweet Stamp Shop Against the Grain
Second up is:
Thanksgiving Owl-fits
Third is:
Sweet Tooth
Next up:
3 Girl JAM crinkle ribbon
And last but not least is
A large variety assortment from my overwhelming collection
So go on comment, post, share away now :)


Welcome back to all my lovely followers and Welcome to all the new people from 3 Girl JAM. I'm so excited to have you all today. Take sometime and peek around. I hope that I can inspire you in some way. I hope you will join me on Facebook and become a follower of my blog also.

For those of you unfamiliar with 3 Girl JAM ribbon it is hand dyed seam binding made by a mother daughter team. The owner Julie is super kind and sweet something that is important to me in companies that I support. Make sure you take some time to checkout their store at {www.3girljam.com} and their blog packed full of inspiration at {www.3girljam.blogspot.com}.

Now for my card today. I used 3 Girl JAM caribbean splash ribbon on this card. The colors matched this paper from Kaisercraft paper so well. 

Now incase you didn't read my post from earlier this week you don't know that it is my birthday on Friday. I had fabulous intentions of posting everyday this week, well you can see where that has gotten, lol. Sooooooo I want you all to make sure you come back here on Friday for my birthday post where I will have a pretty amazing prize packages or two. Including some 3 Girl JAM ribbon, Sweet Stamp Shop stamps, American Crafts twine and a few more of my favorite things.

Now if your still with me remember GO VISIT 3 GIRL JAM!


Ribbon: 3 Girl JAM

Patterned Paper: Kaisercraft Fine & Sunny collection

Stamps: Paper Smooches

Bling: Jolee's Jewels Hotfix Swarovski's crystals




Happy Sunday all! I'm sure you are all busy watching all the Superbowl hub bub. I look up from what I'm doing occasionally to catch the commercials but it otherwise doesn't hold much appeal for me. Tonight I want to show a card I've made but make sure you read all the way to the end for some fun.

I made this last week but have had to hold off on posting because my good friend also reads here and I didn't want to spoil her card for her.

Congratulations Baby

I used Kiaser Kraft's Fine and Sunny 6 1/2" paper pad for this card. I had so much fun with this paper last week. You'll see it crop up later in another post. The sentiment is from Paper Smooches Simply Said stamp set. I just love the fonts that Paper Smooches chooses for their sets.

Now for the exciting news! First, I will be joining 3 Girl JAM this month as a Guest Designer. Woot, Woot! You can look for a post from me once a week using their beautifully hand dyed seam binding. Julie, the owner at 3 Girl JAM is just as sweet as pie so I'm super excited to be joining them this month. Now that is not all!  I will also be joining Sweet Stamp Shop for their new release on February 12th and 13th. This is like a dream for me as I love the stamps Nicole designs and I love supporting her because she is so super sweet!

Now hold on because there is more, this Friday is my birthday so that means some fun things are going to be happening around here this week. Including some fun winnings to be had, some of my favorite products:)  So make sure you stop in regularly this week. My *plan* is to post everyday.



Little Tangles Challenge #5

 Today I'm joining up with a new challenge blog I found. This weeks requirement is buttons (which I have I ton of). So I thought I'd giver a shot! I'm sure they would love it if you joined up too. Check em' out here Little Tangles

This was super simple but I love how it turned out. 


Happy Monday! I certainly hope it is much warmer where ever you are. I think our high today wasn't even above 0. They are even sharing school delays and cancellations for the morning. -42 with the windchill. No thank you! So to warm the spirit here are a few cards I made the other night :)

 I think this first one will be my hubbies Valentines Day card.

Love you forever

 My grandmother gave me a kitchenaid mixer that she never used so I wanted to make a card to send off to her.

Thank You
 These least two cards tonight were "Honey, I need a couple of cards. Can you help me out?" cards. The first for a school that a group of my husbands teachers visited.

 And last but not least a wedding card for a fellow teacher of husbands. I used some 3 Girl JAM ribbon that I'm completely in love with. Her prices are awesome and its all hand dyed!

Wedding card
Stay warm everyone!